The Redskins regret many plays that were and weren’t made against the Eagles but Wednesday is the day when teams put the previous game behind them and start preparations for the next opponent. Here are some things they will be working on this week.
—After the game on Sunday, Josh Norman said, “We’ve got a short week so we have to prepare, prepare fast.” The Redskins don’t lose anything in terms of actual practice time by playing on the West Coast. They will have normal practices today, Thursday, and Friday, although the start times for Thursday (2 p.m. instead of 1) and Friday (11:35 instead of 12:05) have been altered slightly. But they will leave after Friday’s practice instead of after their Saturday walkthrough. That Saturday session will be done somewhere in Los Angeles, possibly in a ballroom at the hotel. They have the same number of days to prepare but the long flight and the change in routine make it seem shorter to the players. But they had better get used to it; they have to travel to the West Coast two more times this season.
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—Kirk Cousins speaks to the media today and his performance against the Eagles will be under some scrutiny. But spinning it forward, the question will be how quickly he can get on track. He had clunkers in his first two openers since he was named the starter. In each case, he bounced back with a better performance in Week 2, although his game last year against the Cowboys was marred by a late red zone interception that cost the Redskins a chance to win the game. So, while we should expect him to be better against the Rams, will he be as good as he needs to be for the Redskins to win?
—The injury report should be short. Both after the game and during his Monday news conference Jay Gruden said that there were no injuries to speak of. Anticipate Morgan Moses being limited in practice; he seemed to be hampered by an ankle injury during the game. There also are usually some surprise additions due to issues that pop up when the players report after being off on Monday. But the team remains largely healthy.
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—Aaron Donald isn’t just one of the very best defensive linemen in the league, he’s one of the premier defensive players at any position. When you’re playing the Rams, you must game plan around his presence. Unless, of course, he doesn’t play or if he only is in for a dozen snaps or fewer. Donald just reported to the Rams last Saturday but Sean McVay is saying that he might play. They have until Saturday at 4 p.m. to take him off the exempt list and put him on the 53-man roster if they want to play him. That will leave Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan wondering if they need to spend very much time worrying about Donald or if he will be a non-factor in the game.
—Another question mark in the game plan is Rams second-year quarterback Jared Goff. He had what was by far the best statistical game of his short career against the Colts in Week 1. Now, the Colts aren’t expected to be a power team this year by any stretch. But last year Goff put up some stinker performances against bad teams, like his Week 16 game against the 49ers when he completed 45 percent of his passes and posted a 35.1 passer rating. If McVay has been able to create a “new” Goff, the Redskins know very little about that QB beyond the video from the Colts game. Greg Manusky and company will spend plenty of time trying to break down what he did right and figure out how to stop it.